The Democratic Republic of Congo is located in Central Africa
Around 235 million hectares
Area of forest cover:
101.8 million hectares
What are the main threats to /issues relating to forest communities and lands in this country?
- The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has the second largest and most intact area of contiguous rainforest in the world, accounting for more than half of the total remaining rainforests in the Congo Basin region.
- These forests are now under unprecedented pressure from the extractive industries, infrastructure development and agricultural expansion as DRC tries to emerge from two decades of political instability and violent conflict that led to the collapse of the economy.
- Efforts to conserve the forest, such as through reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) and the protected area network, have often wrongly targeted communities as the agents of forest destruction, further impinging on their land and resource rights.
- Efforts to undertake land-use planning, tenure reform and community forestry in the country present both risks and opportunities for forest dependent communities and their hopes of securing legally recognised rights to the traditional lands.
What are the main objectives of our work in this country?
- Contribute to poverty reduction, sustainable management and improved governance of tropical rainforests of the DRC through the documentation of forest communities’ land tenure and governance systems, and through the promotion and implementation of forest communities’ rights to land and forest resources.
- Ensure that policy reform efforts (land-use planning, tenure reform, community forests, REDD+ etc.) clarify and secure the rights of local and indigenous people in accordance with international law.
- Support communities to map 5 million hectares of the traditional lands by 2017, and to use the data collected to inform policy efforts and transform spatial and forest governance in the country.
- To contribute to poverty reduction and improve the participation of forest and IPs communities to the decision-making processes their lives depend on through legal and rights capacity building.